‘A long time ago in Kiri Vongsa’ sings Bunthynn, the United World Schools Education Officer as we set off from Banlung – to the tune of the Bethlehem carol. A jolly start to an adventure! If you want to see a map of our journey click here for a link to Ross’s website. Continue reading
Here I am sitting among boxes as I wait for the packers to remove our final belongings as we prepare to leave Singapore. It’s been an experience, mostly wonderful. We came here as refugees – from the emotions surrounding the loss of our daughter Louise and the wish to mourn in a private and fulfilling way, by adventuring and ringing the changes. The deep sense of grieving never goes away and, as I have said many times, time is NOT a healer; but it is possible to fill your mind and your heart with happy experiences that take the raw edge off that insistent nagging realisation that every day you wake up is another without her. Continue reading
My November visit to the United World Schools we have built in NE Cambodia inspired me to do something tangible to make a difference to the children’s impoverished lives in these remote villages, where our schools are a beacon of hope for their future.
The second part of our journey will take us to Banlung, the hub for the 23 Ratanakiri schools and where the UWS journey began. Maxine and John have gone on to Siem Reap, so we are now five. It’s a 3 hour drive from Siem Pang to Banlung, and after an hour or so on the pitted murram the road returns to tarmac, and the scenery changes from scrub to row upon row of rubber plantations – the ecocide that has destroyed the rainforest and scarred the landscape forever. In between are cassava plants which leaches the soil so it’s all in all a no win situation for the future. Continue reading
This blog is dedicated to the memory of our darling daughter Louise, who would have been 26 on 7 December. Her spirit guides us in the work we do for UWS
Six months ago I became involved with a charity United World Schools, whose strap line is ‘teaching the unreached’. We build schools and provide basic reading, writing and counting skills to the world’s poorest children in Cambodia (30 schools). Myanmar (5 schools) and Nepal (5 schools planned). We aim to have 50,000 children in school by the end of 2018. Continue reading
This week I have been rushing around preparing for the visit of our CEO, Tim Howarth, and our schools networking evening. The aim is to introduce affluent Singapore international schools to our school partnership scheme and encourage them to build a long-lasting relationship with one of our rural schools in Cambodia, Myanmar and, soon, Nepal. It only costs £16,000 (S$30,000) to build a school and £6000 (S$10,000) to maintain it annually, equivalent to US$1 per child per week. Talk about value for money! Continue reading
So here we are, four years on, and I need a new challenge.
Writing the book about my mother and her war (Love and War in the WRNS, to be published in June) – one of the best periods of her life of which she was justly extremely proud – provided solace and therapy after all the bereavements and stress we have suffered over the past few years: the deaths of my mother, father and Louise, plus both Ross and I being diagnosed with cancer. Continue reading